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March 11, 1923 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1923-03-11
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.. .,. - - -_ _



)'AGE~ SIR x



SUNDAY, MAR M, ; j, n2




- I . - . - I - , I I . . . 1 . _ - 44- 1- ; , I . I I . - . - 11 . I I - .




FINERS. By Johni V. A. Weaver.
Alfred Knopf and Company.
Reviewed by Lisle Rose

work wmill have to fall back on the
hackneyed -but unavoidable epithet
promising". Certain it is that the
poet's definite achievetnent,, to date,
are not great, only potentially is he a

Cant you afford. not to keep your-clothes in -the very. best
of condition? The world is quirk to judge from, external ap-
pearance. See that it makes "a favorable judgment =in your
1121 S. Univ.

I hae lng ookd fr snicpoe writer of thei first rank. In order to
able to interpret imaginatively the attain high place among contemporary
cheap yet pathetic beauty of an am-; authors, lie must polish his verse more
usement-park:. The theme should be carefully, destroy about a third of his
at tempted; not because it is 'typically productions, and remen~ber that at
Ar.cr cuan"--God preserve us from the present he is still travelling.
fllacy that it is sonmehow more merit-
orious to write in the ugliest of all GHETTO FLAMES OF
dialects about the most uninteresting H P
of all countries than to describe non- H P
national subjects in classic l ngih- SALO3LE OF THE T'rEEMEN'[S. by
but simply because an am-asenient- ?Anzia Yezierka. Bol nd llt Live.
park wants interpreting; cries for it,i right.
in fact. I have been prep~ared at any RevieweJ1 by Leo Jay Hlershidorfer
time to pass the laurel to any poet When E dward J. O'Brien dedicated
adequate to the t cik.' his "Best Short Stories of 1920" to
I shall not pass the laurel to Mr. Anzia Yezierska, he first brought to
Wleaver. He is a grievous disappoint- the notice of the wvor'l of letters a
ment. I assumed 'from the blurb on Writer' brilliant and talented. Hle
thie jakef -of his latest effort, "Finders, turned the spotlight of attention on
More Poems in American," that ful- a Young woman who had been hidden
illing my assuredly modlest expecta- in the darkness. of obscurity, a young
tions was the easiest thing Mr. Weaver woman in whom burned the fire of
could do; a mere trifle. Mr. Weaver, rettius, a w\riter who had masterpieces
it seems, handles everything in the to- offer, but was handicapped by the
indigenous-to-the-soil line; p~robes the barrier of oblivion, the greatest ob-
soJul of everythhing American ; lays stacle for the uninitiated in the field of.
hare-et cetera, ad infinitum. Uin- literature to surmount.
fortunately, the gentleman who wrote O'Brien's dedication was in re-
this blurb is a far greater imaginative cognition of Miss Yezierska's "Hungry-
artist than Weaver himself. The poet, Hearts," a creation which won for the
has not succeeded in. interpreting even author laurels of high honor and last-
the soul of the aforesaid amusemuent- ing fame. If there are any who
pa rk. doubted that O'Brien's judgment was
Frankly this criticism is a ])it cheap,a in error, or that "Hungry Hearts" was
and also ablit unjust; for no author merely a' flash of promise, let them
ought to he judged by has a ' ce" 4.ers_ immediately secure a copy of Miss
If wve forget their absurd eulogies, whe Yezierska's "Salome of the Tene-
shall findl some of Weavers verse ments,'" If they are not pleasedl with
rieritcrious enough. Hie IS less sup- this, thon I would bar them from all
erfieial than most of his realistic c!on- libr aries and relegate them to solitary
tell' j)orarics; he disellavs at times im_ eclifinernett on an island where no

Conservatism R'ampant,

2 I.v
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The campus seems to be experien-f LISLE
ciftg a revival of °interest in literature,1
and especially in poetry. This re-jctoufrmailiseff u-
°ival is the traditional healthy sign, erous devices: tone-color, alliteration,
and ought, apparently, to obtain the asisonance, rhyme." What! has not
traditional commendation. Bein~g aI conservative verse these aids? Yes;
perverse conservative, however, I amd and_ more too. English poetry is par-
unwilling to consider, the present re- ticularly rich, in that it possesses
nascence entirely praiseworthy. It three distinct types of rhythm: accen-
seems to me that our literary' liberals, tuoal," the basic type; syllabic, illuls-
both in college and outside, are be- trated 'by those tetrameter lines which
coming too fanatic in their fondness seem to us equivalent to pentameters
for what is termed the "new poetry", merely because the nun:)eu of syl-
and too scornful ot the old. For ex- sables is ten; and quantitative, as in
ample, Mr. Rosinger and Mr'. Harlan, (,satill. When to these are added not
who have recently presented in Chines only tone-color, rhyme, assonance, al-
both argument for and samples of {literation, and stanzaic pattern, but
this new poetry, fail utterly to re- also double c'adence, conservative
cognize either the merits of our class- poetr~y becomes an instrument o~f pow-
ics or the faults ( i contemporary er and sublimity far surpassing the
radica~l verse. Sincel bel:eve that the ti itlnso eylbq
conservative should ?°eheard. l wishthintirkyngof corsibre ha
now to set forth the < t 11:ivt the foru:, as literary rebels have always
new poetry in gene:.A. as for -"a~lly, been quick to proclaim. New move-
and as fairly, as 1 cd l.mnut are usually justified b h
That case I believe to -° -°:ng, if assertien that they bring to art not anl
by "new p~oetrv" we ii:i 2i what the original form, perhaps, hut a fresh.
radicals m1eanI, what 1> 2' imself spirit. So our friends thle radicals
evidently m.eant. Though he neglect- ;make muchel of the new realms which
ed(1- -foutuna'~ely, pecrhaps, in view oftlthey *have ontsned to )oetry, of the
his lameneltable failure to define poetry hitherto-untouched subjects which
itself -to state explicitly his tuseo f they are dealing with, Rosinger, for
t his im~portant term, we all know I ins.an(ce, notes with elation that poet-
pretty well what it includes. The new ry has gone to' the humnble, and founds
poetry is thotight to differ from the pure beauty there. We conservatives
mere conser1vative in form, in subject- have a faint rec'ollection that some-
matter, andl in the author's general1 what the slame procedure Was follow-
attitude. Conservatives hold that the eed a century ago :by C'rabbe and
change b<:,, been less than the radicals Bloomfield, not to mention Words-
as pert, and that whatever real change worth. That latei' writers had :got
has occurred is of little .value. I hope! away from it, and needed. recalling, is
to show that in technique modernh not to denied ; but moderns cannot
verse is a. step) backward; that in claim as th eir owns a tendency at least
choice and range of subject it is at one hundred years old.
least no advance; that in the attitude. "Yea,"'-we are told, "but poetry now-
or theory of life, expressed,. it- is a re- adays f"~ going further than such an-
versien to the childish or barbarous.'- cients dared go; it, is treating lite
These three charges 'onistitute a, se- fearlessly, witholding nothing."' And
rious indietinent of the new i1 Ove- I the rebel snmiles as if lie had proved
mnent ; let us see if they can be provedl.4 his point, by asserting that complete
The firs;t seems self-evident. Free freedioml is the one thing needful in
verse, in form the distinguishing niarkii art. But is it ? Art implies selection;
of radical eioetrv, represents deliber- ; not every thiei(le dserves treating.
aite surrendler o1 a. rich, exlressive ;Th e radii ,al usually takes refuge in an
metrneal ven in ret urn for' a vague apdpeaI to the ''seienthfle s 1i,'' 7
''freedom of ()Il1'' N-hic(11i S i!su1 1ily ,hwle I'ein usan attenipt to express
re laziness. V ' il nia i B is g0I, (, x1)iQC 2 o(,vimlpers'onlly, oje~tivel y.
unable 10eudu P0 lit v fl(:ecemial".' h1 aid By1 V 'v hiig PapheI on'ellft c'ii our
dl pritent i'' '' I} (oi lit tue(ir d(iat. I (I , n 'Ios ar(1in g thlen', th e
r' l'('Ii ' ?l i r 1 l .1 o01 lo:se t Iii <p oti c ~t ." 10 I clrlhz: thien' l -e ruB <I


aware that my appeal is to conven-
tion, and convention is a. terrible mis-
tress thiese (lays. 11er reputation is
far from savory; her defendei's are
in dlisrepute. Yet we can not escape
her if we would : we are lhound to her
by the conditions of human life. Let

the rebels suirrender language
thought before they boast of
freedom. They may throw over

ROSE Live poets themselves laugh at.
valiant crusaders, if they dlid taut k
-,realism; and that is quite a dif'ferent it, are making themselves someN
thing. The probrllemx then reduces to ridiculous by marshalling a vasta
C:a choice between two views of life to. overcome a man of straw. 'R
equally subjective and personal. the radical attitude remains a prc
-Which shall we accept? akgainst certain indubitable but n,
3 Conservatives have little hesitation fundlanI ntal tendencies in poetry
-in accepting the n_ aningful. as the silly and childish enough; wlhe
-past experience of the race has shown r'epresents an attemipt to overt
z the meaningful to lbe. Now 1 am wvell the wh''oP experiencet and ideal


turn, it bccouies not only (cl~ilclish,
barb; ron i and rcti'o-ressi Ye.
T hat the present-day a<I t -tion
dNIsss o may be valuable, I hav
doubt. But the value will ar'sp ra
from: stimulation and rearousal o
interest in poetry than fromt any
finite achievement by radical wri
The Metaphysical school, whicl,
many ways strangely resembtles
modern group, kept poetry alive;
it p~roduced little that is permar
So it wvill be with Sand-burg
Lowell and Kreymiborg. A reme
interest in pioetry they may per]
'bring about; a clearing away ofE
debis they may accomplish. But
can not forget that promise is
achievement, nor is r'evolt advant

Eminor literary Customs, but the basic;
>principles of arit, as of life in general,
they must observe.
In truth, the "general rejection of
I convention" so noisily proclaimed by
t:the radicals, and so dreaded by timid
conservatives, turns otut to be chiefly
Ean assault on unimportant and ephiem-
feral follies which the best conserva-


ignatui. in nJiliuslght ; he ci 'lie 3an
o-1.cas'ional glimpise of th1e -D('OuIV anid
trag~ed y tabe founid in comitoti ex-
isteee. More iniplorta ut still, he knowvs
l ; ' O )t' l]t 4(111-tt1 'god-N tru"ILfuiIV,
aviding both sell iiilentalii2=,ra ad(
O(iw ?ticisuu. 'm example, the ethics.
of hsworking- L~t'la aro the 'ethics
rca Iliv held b) v I awer cl rsiot
th e tiiic foisted ontthe.- b1) Ilhy-
1ash author"s and optillm it cpreach-
em's4. The heroina of''" !'it iat' con-
cerns hr l ot. at all withii (onven-
tion.:1labels. here ii1lies5 the mtrth,
anld the iillod, of hetr stoury.
S'<donuniluckily, is V eaver so
faithful to fact, yot withual so amrtistic,
as ini"Flat-Hat" andtl a few other

books but those of Mar'y Roberts Rine-
hart anid.1. Scott Fitzgerald (the
vaudevillian of literature) are obtaiun-
"Salome of the Tenem~ents'' is a
dr'amna of New work's ghetto. It is the
tale of Sonya \runsky ,,a Russiamn Jew-
ess5 whose one ambition was to give
life to the spark of beauty which was
snouldering iun her sotl. She dwell-
lug a tenemenit hovel, her seaumty war-
diGlee cwtnpos-od 01'a few shabby
dre'sses anda acottout nightg~owniiher
acqiuaintances andifi'iends, p heito
dwe' llers and swe at-shop workers,
Soiy a had nlever had the oppoutimuity
of c:=calfe from the sordhidI prisoniin
wxhich she was an unwilling captive.

I ioltal 1)0(i dal Yet. ' 14 p1 ti;h qs
are'( 'C-prcM..m ve': here 1!s ~no Such ithing
asi Pi:S}OltIt-e rI ' loum oof-expmcss i on.A,

t'i%;c ' kv t lii threi I no inn:'e -a'-
",)C s On:1 te ('he'fitti ('
fsc ''o lits:,0111(21 than 1there i


poems, notably "Concerning the Eco- Her 'di'eai:s at nitght were vi;sions of

nuiumc iuoepenuence of vvonleuu and a najU UtaJ01aty analoveU, romand~ce
"Old." Much of the time he is content and passion, lieu' thoughts by lay pie-
to record surface-rphenomena; at tur'fs of herself in gowns fashionied
t~iunes, falling into the ver'y sin he is by the world's greatest artists. Sonya
most anxious to avoid, lie even falsi- sought to intei'pret herself through the=
lies facts, or waxes sentimental,. He muediuni of- clothes "designed to r'e-2
knows better, but disregards his own veal the human soul."E
principles. Worse, in many of his Then she mnet John Manning, the 2T eB s sA~~~cD m n~
poems .lie seem,,s tongue-tied: Ilie is philanthropist who was seeking to Th etILl a sD m n e
like one of his own charactem's, who build model settlement houses for the ,=M i h gneca mcil r n o tle h sn: p pe, ndbMn
" I ain't got words to say- it Sonya's passion for love reached its2
right." greatest heights. Penniless,; she hyp- .
In other re'~pects W'ea'et' falls short tiotized Fifth Avenue's leading mod-' or that reason thyalasgo wer 1ol the best is served.-
of what he might have done. Hle shows iste, the ghettos most miserly land- te las weeol
himself deficient in technical ability; { lord and Delancey Street's shrewvdest2
more damnning still, in taste. If lie pawnbrolker with the charni of her 2; -j =
had acquired this elusive quality, lie personality, so that she was fitted F rG o tm in r
would not have chosen the noblest of with a gown that Paris envied, her
English measures, blank verse, for room was transformed from four bare =
trivial subjects. I must admit that wails to a reception hall decorated by MchgnSuetHaeB nCo ngfrY rso-
ofeepcal ntetrepesnaster~s, and her Apurse wasdnt lineden with or2ear t
otneseilyiththepom prewslndwt;I have mentioned, he handles it sur- gold-to captivate and hold the love :.
prisingly well; nevertheless, I cannot of Manning. -
avoid feeling that lie should not havei She won him-and for a few months '2E " -
employed it at all. The same is true ' their mar ried life was perfect harm-2 e i i ev
of his use of the sonnet. Only one ony. Then came a reception to her=2..
sonnet, "Ghosts," is tsuecessful.; the 'husband's relatives, that she might '"HrnS.ars rm Itrra tto
rest ar e grotesque, even ghastly. His :be formally introduced, and to which - rnS. rs rm.neu~a tto
freer lyrics are equally faulty: "Never. Were invited several of ghetto friends 2
pick wild flowers" is- trite in theme ;The inevitable conflict followed - 2 h Not Jamn the Thirong? -
and unbelievably, harsh in form;! Wealth and. poverty, especially with
"Search"' is the sort of stuff that all: wealtlh representing the Gentile and-
roir-antic young females pour out; the. thie Jew imnpersonatinlg poverty,; could
much-over-praised "Legend" is arti- not meet on common ground. Dis-.
ficial. Ii11iinrent came to Sonya, and when-
The critic seeking to jnde evrshrhubn wdte 'ev'sJe sadshwdtetrue side of ;llfl.ftliil{flltltllftttut1ttt~tttttfttrrttt~ tt ~ .

<e 2 tak( ~ t t i'i lue'.'essivoe ( 11(20of 1o~ 10251 "(iii' 'mali l 1'eiV ' LC'-
language if 8011 on a senlsiti\-e Sflit t coreahi b: Since we cant newer tinl-
vet we m1ttst studly language ill ordor Oer4G'i t II leaniver'se as it, isWe
to (clarify Iand refine oily 'thoulghts for amlis- uuuverstauu t kin IL n.s o01 w1lu0 .
both our 4elves and others. So withl of 2Ji ltuonuugs. ean2ing, againie-
poetr'y :fr eedon, is attained thruough, ably imiplies that "'objectifyig of our
not iii spite' of, the medium. emotions" whicli the scientific poet
And that freedom is great, far condemns as illegitimate, It is nor
oater than viers libre pernmits. Vers illegitiaa( it is our one-approach
litr'e has but o Ie rhythmi; the tradk-. to a world which we can never' knowv
tional verse lhas two--rhythm of-the iii se ipso. An impersonal attitudeI
line, and rhiythmi of the strophe. Where tcwaid experience wouldl be futile,
the two biemnd, each heightening the even if it wei'e possible.
effect of time other, as in Paradise Lost,; As a. matter of fact it is not possible.,
poetr'y attainus to a harmony and ma j-; here is not objective verse, Everything!
esty which ver's ibre, with its con-- which goes by that namne is either
liarative nloverty of means, has never m ere cataloguing; or else it is really
secuired.; personal. The truth is that by "scitnt-
".But," your' devout Nvers ibrist ob- ifie ptt nrIA~" the modernists mean
(Conimmud fom Ia~e ne)(Continued from Page One)
-around the open fire-place. A num- extremely modern ..cutbist" style, of
herof tudntsliv inthet~ptai~swriting, or whatever you want to call
rooms. This dive is probably pattern- -ihsatnnswl emr rle
ited after the famous Poets' Bookshop ,hiatepswlbemrores
in London, -which was founded-several fruitless. Unless one feels the spirit+
years ago. by an English poet. .'here of a nation it is difficult to write about f
is a bookship on the ground floor, and, it, either in literature or in music.
the remaining floors of the building,; The negro has played the major #
which is almost a skyscraper, are !
given over to lodging for poets. part in the development of our na-1
The whole business should prove; tional music. It is certain that Amer-
beneficial -to America. The very fact_ ica has, been the; gainer, musically.
that so miany of these little institu-'2 from the unconscious influence of her'
tions have clung to. existence for even negro captives, and that she would
a year, or twof should be an object les- have advanced still farther, musical-
son 'to the country's hustlers, The, ly, had Lincoln not encouraged the
bookshop is a smack on the nose for,: emancipation of the slaves, but a
the advertising business; a blackeye; plebiscite upon whether or not to for-;
for the sal"s campaigners; and a1 gi a Lincoln for his inadvertency
'knockout of the American magazine. ! would undoubtedly result in a uani-
and. all that it stands for. I:. u~s vote in the 'affirmative.



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